Maya Penn Makes Directorial Debut With Environmental Animated Short ‘ASALI;’ Viola Davis & Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions Serve As Executive Producers

EXCLUSIVE: 22-year old award-winning animator, environmental activist and multi-hyphenate phenom Maya Penn announced her upcoming animated short film ASALI: Power of The Pollinators. The short is an original project from Penn’s own purpose-driven premium animation studio Upenndo! Productions and is set to be executive produced by Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, and JuVee Productions.

ASALI: Power of The Pollinators is an animated action-adventure short film that follows a colorful group of pollinators and an environmental scientist as they unravel a trail of secrets to discover if they can save their home from a monstrous and deadly force.

“I’ve been animating since I started making flip books when I was four years old, and my passion for both art and activism goes deep. ASALI embodies that combined passion in an action-packed and colorful story.” says Penn.

Maya made history when she was commissioned to create an animated film for the opening of the first ever digital report presented to US Congress, which was to get an American Museum of Women’s History built in Washington. By the age of 16 she received a commendation from President Barack Obama for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship. Maya is certified in Circular Economies and Sustainable Business by Cambridge Business School and she teaches biomimetic design. She was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her youngest Supersoul 100 changemaker.

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon are set as Executive Producers through JuVee Productions. “We at JuVee have seen the way Maya is passionately ushering in a new generation of authentic and engaged storytelling, using unique animated projects like ASALI as a vehicle that pushes culture forward.“ says Rob Williams, Senior Vice President of Theatrical Motion Picture at JuVee Productions.

Distribution for the short film has not yet been set. Penn is working to expand the IP into series, books, games, and other categories.

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